I recently read “Ender’s Game” for the first time. Upon completion, I immediately ploughed through “Speaker for the Dead,” “Xenocide,” and “Children of the Mind.” Of the four, the first was by far the best of the bunch. I found the latter books to be overly wordy, and extremely repetitive.
It didn’t occur to me until I was almost finished with “Children of the Mind” that I was reading this series without any buffer of a publication schedule. “Ender’s Game” was published in 1986, and “Speaker for the Dead” came out the following year. “Xenocide” was published in 1991, and “Children of the Mind” wasn’t published until a decade after the first book in the series. For fans reading consuming these works, they may well have received some benefit from the frequent reminders of what had been written before.
I suppose if I had to wait years between installments I might well appreciate the gentle reminders of what had previously happened with the characters. I might also find the latter books less wordy, because I’d be mulling over their unique concepts and narrative elements without their predecessors crowding for space in my mind.
But maybe not. I ripped through “Ready Player One” and thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t until several weeks later that I really started to pick apart problems with the story, and find myself rather unhappy with the book. It’s certainly fun, and presents a reasonably plausible fantasy world, but upon deeper reflection there’s a lot fundamentally wrong with the conceit of the book, in my opinion. If a sequel were published next year, I’d likely read it, but I’m not sure I’d be excited about it.
I have no expectation that the forthcoming “Ender’s Game” movie will be any good. But I’ll probably go see it anyway.